[Beowulf] Re: OT: PXE boot with no control over DHCP?

David Mathog mathog at mendel.bio.caltech.edu
Wed Sep 21 15:11:12 PDT 2005

> 1) Set up your own dhcp server and make sure you have all the mac
> addresses for your hosts so that your server only offers addresses to
> your clients and no one else.

Did that.  Also punched holes in the firewall for dhcp and tftp.

> 2) Make sure these hosts are on the same router or switch as your dhcp
> server so your server manages to offer an address first, before the
> campus dhcp that you don't manage.

Here's where things go south.  I don't see any evidence
of the dhcp packets from the booting workstation reaching
the server.  Even with the firewall turned off nothing
shows up in the log files and the workstation client times out.
I also tried booting knoppix on the machine, because
it uses dhcp to find it's IP address, but the one it came up
with was from the campus DHCP server and not my DHCP server.

Perhaps I have something wrong in the dhcpd.conf. Other than
a typo this is fairly unlikely, it was modified from the working
version that runs on the private subnet. Moreover the config
eliminated the "Ignoring requests on eth0" message starting dhcp
used to elicit, so the dhcpd does seem to have been ready to
handle a request, if it ever saw one.  It seems that the
campus network may really by blocking at the switch dhcp
requests from reaching any but their servers. 

The workstations in question have an MBA which offers
4 network boot options: PXE, tcp/ip, netware, and RPL.  
PXE seems to be out and I'd rather not start a netware
transport on the main server just for  this purpose (assuming
it's even possible.)  That leaves tcp/ip
(presumably bootp?) and RPL (which I've never even heard of
before).  Any thoughts on getting one of those two to work with DHCP


David Mathog
mathog at caltech.edu
Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech

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